(3) It furnished the ground and pledge of our own resurrection, and thus ?brought life and immortality to light? ( <550110>2 Timothy 1:10). It must be remembered that the resurrection was the one sign upon which Jesus himself staked his claims ? ?the sign of Jonah? ( <421129>Luke 11:29); and that the resurrection is proof, not simply of God?s power, but of Christ?s own power: <431018> John 10:18 ? ?I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again?; 2:19 ? ?Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up?...21 ? ?he spake of the temple of his body.? See Alexander, Christ and Christianity, 9, 158-224, 302; Mill, Theism, 216; Auberlen, Div. Revelation, 56; Boston Lectures, 203-239; Christlieb. Modern Doubt and Christian Belief, 448-503; Row, Bampton Lectures, 1887:358-423; Hutton, Essays, 1:119; Schaff, in Princeton Rev., May, 1880; 411-419 Fisher, Christian Evidences, 41-46, 82-85; West, in Defense and Conf. of Faith, 80-129; also special works on the Resurrection of our Lord, by Milligan, Morrison. Kennedy, J. Baldwin Brown.
Since only an act directly wrought by God can properly be called a miracle, it follows that surprising events brought about by evil spirits or by men, through the use of natural agencies beyond our knowledge, are not entitled to this appellation. The Scriptures recognize the existence of such, but denominate them ?lying wonders? ( <530209>2 Thessalonians 2:9).
These counterfeit miracles in various ages argue that the belief in miracles is natural to the race, and that somewhere there must exist the true. They serve to show that not all supernatural occurrences are divine, and to impress upon us the necessity of careful examination before we accept them as divine.
False miracles may commonly be distinguished from the true by
(a) theft accompaniments of immoral conduct or of doctrine contradictory to truth already revealed ? as in modern spiritualism;
(b) their internal characteristics of inanity and extravagance ? as in the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius, or the miracles of the Apocryphal New Testament;
(c) the insufficiency of the object which they are designed to further ? as in the case of Apollonius of Tyana, or of the miracles said to accompany the publication of the doctrines of the immaculate conception and of the papal infallibility;
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